Weekends in Evansville aren’t short on nightlife opportunities, with plenty of activities ready to work up your appetite. But when the sun goes down, where can those still awake in the River City go to satisfy their hunger pangs?
It can prove to be a challenge for anyone, no matter which part of their day they are in: Concerts at the Ford Center usually don’t end until at least 10 p.m. Second-shift employees typically work until around midnight. Perhaps that kick into Daylight Saving Time interrupted your sleep routine. Maybe you do as the Spanish do and dine late after your afternoon siesta. And what about the occasional Evansville Otters baseball game that stretches into late innings?
Go out on the town after 10 p.m., and you’ll notice that many bars and restaurants have narrowed their menus as the night goes on. Fast food drive-thrus turn off their signs, and local family restaurants close their doors. As it gets late, dining options become fewer.
Enter Sportsman’s Grille and Billiards, Bokeh Lounge, Heady’s Pizza, High Score Saloon, and KC’s Time Out Lounge and Grill. With kitchens that stay open after midnight, each of these establishments offers a unique take on late-night noshing.
“We have a lot of people who come in for food because there aren’t a lot of places that offer food as late as we do,” says Sportsman’s bar manager Andrea Sinnett. “Not everybody has the same schedule. Somebody might work night shift and not make it off till around 10 p.m., and they still want to go out and do something. It’s also important because we serve alcohol, and food and alcohol go well together.”
Sportsman’s (2315 W. Franklin St.) serves its full menu seven days a week from open to close at 3 a.m. to crowds of nighttime diners, bar regulars, and college students shooting billiards on the antique pool tables. Offering mouthwatering plates of wings or a marinated chicken breast sandwich with fries, the establishment has been a beacon of bar dining since 1987.
Its best-selling fried cheese balls are served overflowing a basket for $7 and can be filled with your choice of a mix of warm, gooey pepper jack or cheddar cheese.
“Our cheese balls at night go flying off the bar. People get them all the time,” says Sinnett. “Sportsman’s is an Evansville staple. We get people that come in that haven’t been in Evansville in years. We have people who celebrated their 21st birthday here, and they bring their kids in now to celebrate their 21st birthdays.”
High Score (323 Main St., Ste. F) isn’t a traditional venue, but it’s made a reputation for itself with its tater tot creations. Snag a seat at the bar or slip out onto the secluded patio overlooked by the Main Street walkway to dig into pizza tots, trash tots, and more topping-covered fried potato rounds until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Open every night until midnight, Bokeh Lounge is an upscale casual dining option by day, but the culinary creativity and quality doesn’t stop after the sun sets. Also offering an extensive late-night menu, the bar located at 1007 Parrett St. in Haynie’s Corner Arts District is complimented by its wide array of outdoor seating in the front and back patios. So, diners munching on their crispy wings loaded with sauce have the option to take a breather from the fun inside and enjoy their meal al fresco.
Meanwhile, greasy, cheesy bar favorites are served on the late-night menu at KC’s Timeout Lounge at 1121 Washington Square. Open until 3 a.m. seven days a week, KC’s pizza and fried favorites are popular, but nothing beats chowing down on an old-fashioned pile of French fries smothered in cheese and bacon bits while listening to live music.
While a night out is what comes to most minds when thinking of late-night shenanigans in Evansville, some prefer to stay in. For after-hours game nights, movie marathons, or tired night-shifters, Heady’s Pizza brings solutions to nighttime cravings straight to your door. Fresh, hot pan pizzas, sandwiches, and shareable garlic knots are available until 2 a.m. daily from locations in Evansville (4120 N. First Ave.) and Henderson, Kentucky (2278 S. Green St.).
Sportsman’s Photos by Zach straw. KC’s Time out photo by Dallas Carter. All others provided.